Cards on the table, your co-editor here, Benny “the Ball” Benson, is a massive fan of this Blues/Rock team made up of husband/wife duo Grace and Aaron Bond. I have both the debut albums (signed) from the website and am jumping on this review like a cat on a mouse (it’s mine)! Our readers may notice we are not over inclined to review many albums, but I can make an exception.

If you follow British Blues, then When Rivers Meet are one of an elite group of new bands that are exciting the scene and winning plaudits wherever they go. They, along with bands such as Five Points Gang, Catfish and Brave Rival are smashing the live blues scene, writing new material and breathing life into the blues brand.

The lockdown period saw When Rivers Meet presented a series of Lockdown shows on Facebook (I was one of those having a look) and they established an easy-going manner with fans in a medium that worked for them. However, hitting the live scene like a ten-tonne truck, they blended their original blues/rock (with a decent twist of country) into live dynamism. 

This album, released on July 29th, 2022, is the result.

I often have reservations about live albums (albeit with a few exceptions – Kiss Alive II, Queen Live Killers being about it) as they often feel like a repackaging of songs I already have. So, for me, an acid test is whether the live album offers something different.

Well…I’m pleased to say this one does! It is recorded over a couple of venues and hits the ground running with my favourite track from the band, “Did I Break the Law?” It opens with a heavy riff, and the music is generally heavier and has that immediacy of live connection. This is never more true than in the superb “Bury My Body.” I think the mark of a live album’s validity is whether the songs add something by being sold to us as live versions, “Bury My Body” is one of those cases. It’s a Wow! The feel of that track, stripped down to the simplicity of the vocals and the minimal instrumentalization, is a massive yes.

I’d also point to “Kissing the Sky” as another track that benefits hugely from the live album performance. The live recording provides an energy and you hear the song anew with vocals that kill.

So, Rock the Joint Magazine gives this album a massive thumbs up. It’s a little stick of dynamite caught during the explosion!

By Benny “the ball” Benson

& Mark C Chambers.